CBS reported that a Florida teenager, Chance Ammirata, started a campaign called #Lung Love after he suffered a lung collapse due to vaping on August 19. He used a brand of vape called ‘JUUL’ which has become increasingly popular among both teens and adults.
"We need to educate students on the harm of what they are doing. Vaping is relatively new so kids don't know what it's doing but people are getting sick from vaping. As far as trying to educate students, people won't listen if we just tell them to stop but if we give them information and let them decide on their own I think they will be more likely to handle it," Mr. Brett Jones said.
According to Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Juul cigarette sales increased from 2.2 million to 16.2 million in 2017. Not only has Juul affected teenagers nationally, it has even found its way into the halls of Cameron High. Hiding the USB looking device is not impossible. Many students use the bathrooms as a place to do it without being seen or tucking it in their sleeves. A lot of kids hide it in their backpack and take a “hit” while pretending to get something out of their bags.
In the 2018-2019 school year Mr. Chris Anderson, CHS assistant principal, confiscated over 30 vaping devices. The consequences for being caught vaping can range from in school suspension to out of school suspension depending on the number of offenses.
"When we catch a kid with a vaping device we try to ask them if they know what they are doing and know the chemicals they are putting in their lungs because there are states that are trying to link 150 cases of lung problems in kids," Chris Anderson.
Another popular hiding place is in vehicles where students can hit it without running the risk of easily being caught. Due to the large number of cars coming into the parking lot before school and leaving after, it is hard to catch students in the act.
“I vape because it looks cool and it’s really fun to do tricks with the smoke. I don’t have a juul I have an actual mod with the lower nicotine levels so it’s not as bad. I started when I was 15 because I used to smoke cigarettes and I wanted to quit,” Student B said.
Vaping can cause many health problems including affecting brain development, lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, etc. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the most common health risk is elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate which can increase your likelihood of having a heart attack.
“I know that vaping can give you popcorn lungs and your lungs can potentially collapse, but there’s so many other parts of the body affected by vaping,” Sophomore Jordan Jackman said.
NBC News released an article reporting 153 cases of severe lung disease caused by vaping on August 21.
“I started vaping last year and I did it because it makes me feel good. It’s like I can’t even describe it, it helps alleviate stress,” Student C said.
Juul’s come with a charger and an array of “pods” which carry the nicotine. One juul pod is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. Juul pods also come with eight flavors including cucumber, creme, mint, mango, menthol, fruit and tobacco.
“Vaping addictions start through the flavors. Like mango and watermelon, teenagers like the fruity taste, so if they can get nicotine that tastes like mangos, then they’re probably gonna do it,” Junior Hadley Berry said.
“I vape because they make the nicotine in fruity flavors and it tastes good,” Student A said.